360i Buys Design and Development Agency

New York-based agency 360i, which built its name in search, has acquired design and development firm i33 for an undisclosed sum.

The move is part of 360i’s two year-old strategy to provide a full suite of digital capabilities, beginning with social marketing and creative services. In the course of that expansion, the agency has periodically outsourced work to a number of smaller firms, including i33. The smaller company previously contributed to 360i’s Scripps and Red Roof Inn accounts.

“Their really strong experience in development, in conjunction with their first class design, was a big differentiator,” said CEO Bryan Wiener. “Too often people think of design as pretty pictures. It’s really about creating great experiences that tie into the back end.”

Specific capabilities offered by i33 include social media application development, video and rich media experiences, and offline creative. For instance, as part of a recent campaign for Adidas, i33 handled the creation of a Web site, the creation of video and photo assets, plus in-store display creative. Last year, it developed a live chat banner unit for client Attendi.com.

i33’s clients have included Marvel, PBS, Target, and Borders, and it shares a competency in the retail vertical with its new parent, which has worked with Office Depot. Execs said the firms have no significant client conflicts.

The agency will retain its brand identity and be run as a division of 360i, which now employs north of 200 staffers (i33 contributes 40). President and CEO David Levin will keep his current title and oversee all of 360i’s design and development activities going forward. 360i’s existing design team will be merged into Levin’s group.

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